The Black Tibetans live to rock, and rock to live. Formed in LA in 2011, the band combine elements of old-school rock n’ roll, surf, and punk with their motorcycle-centric culture to create their own “Rock N Roll Party” sound. Having just released their new EP The Nashville Session, we sat down with bassist Tammi Tibetan to talk about music, touring and working with Dan Auerbach.
By Meghan Player
Hey Tammi – how are you?
Not too shabby, thanks for asking.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP, The Nashville Session – you must be thrilled to have it out there to your fans?
It’s good to finally be recording some of our new material – and to release a taste of it is even better.
You also must be happy with the way it turned out as well?
Yes, I believe we are! The sound is much different from what we are used to, but change is good right?
We certainly can’t ignore that Dan Auerbach [The Black Keys] produced this EP – how did this pairing come about?
I think we were all a bit nervous having never worked with him before this EP, but he is incredibly professional and works very quickly. It was quite the experience!
What did he bring to the overall sound of the EP?
Of course, Dan has a sound recording style all his own. I think you can hear tidbits of that throughout the new songs.
Auerbach also plays guitar solo on your latest single, ‘You’re Cold’ – was this planned, or something that happened more naturally in the studio?
Actually, it wasn’t planned. We were in the studio and started to get into a groove, when suddenly Dan was on the wrong side of the booth with a guitar in his hands. Who was I to object!?
You formed in 2011, and have had some great touring opportunities since then – joining the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Eagles Of Death Metal & Brody Dalle on tour. Have you been given any advice or learnt anything from these bands that has stuck with you?
They’re all such different bands, but one thing is certain – they all have a dynamic with each other. That’s important, treat your bandmates well. They’re family after all.
In saying that, has there been once piece of advice or one thing that you’ve learnt over the last 3 years as a band, that you wish you knew when you first started out?
We’ve always been pretty good about it, but: communication. Keeping each other up to date with shows, touring, new songs, manicure appointments etc is the key to staying on the same page and not pissing each other off.
What I personally love about yourselves is this deep connection your music has to the early rock and roll bands/sound/lifestyle of the 50s that really paved the way for music. Was this an era of music that you grew up listening to? What inspired you to tailor your sound in that style?
We all have very different musical roots between the three of us. I grew up with rock and roll in general, from the fifties to the seventies. My heart lies in garage and broken blues.
Are there any bands that are currently active [that you like] that you feel are keeping that rock and roll scene alive and kicking?
There are SO many bands out there that are killing it right now. Goat for instance – a Swedish band – have more of a psychedelic feel, but have a huge live presence.
Do you have any touring plans at the moment – we’d love to get you out to Australia at some stage! (Hint, hint)
We’ll finish up the new record and take it from there… but it’s never out of the realm of possibilities!
Finally, if you had to sum up the band using one of your songs, which one do you think best captures the heart and soul of The Black Tibetans?
Well, that’s easy. Rock n Roll Party on a Saturday Night. But really, it doesn’t quite matter to us what damn day of the week it is.
Many thanks to Tammi for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out the bands new video for ‘You’re So Cold’ here: http://vimeo.com/95255864